Allen County lawmakers warn of coronavirus-related scams, highlights helpful tips

Posted by: Jake Thompson  | Monday, May 11, 2020

STATEHOUSE (May 11, 2020) – Allen County lawmakers urge Hoosiers to be vigilant in protecting themselves against scams, which are surging during the public health pandemic.

State Rep. Martin Carbaugh (R-Fort Wayne) said it's important to stay informed and alert because fraudsters are using coronavirus-related fears to obtain personal and financial information from unsuspecting victims.

"This type of behavior, especially under the current climate, is reprehensible," Carbaugh said. "Hoosiers need to be on high alert for scammers and fraudsters looking to take advantage of this situation."

According to the Federal Trade Commission, scammers are using text messages and robocalls to offer free home testing kits, promote fake cures and sell low-priced health insurance. 

Government imposter scams are also on the rise, including those targeting people on Medicare. State Rep. Dave Heine (R-Fort Wayne) said if a caller claims to be a Medicare representative and asks to verify personal information like bank account, Social Security or Medicare numbers, Hoosiers should hang up. 

"Real law enforcement and federal agencies will not call and threaten you with a fine or arrest, or ask for personal information over the phone," Heine said. "Legitimate businesses will also give you time to consider an offer they have made, and not pressure you into a decision on the spot." 

According to State Rep. Bob Morris (R-Fort Wayne), criminals are also taking advantage of individuals who are expecting federal stimulus payments. Scammers will call, text and email asking for personal or bank account information in order to release funds. The IRS won’t contact individuals by phone, email, text message or social media with information about stimulus payments, or to ask for a Social Security number, bank account, or government benefits debit card account number. 

"Several scams are going around related to federal stimulus payments," Morris said. "Fraudsters will try to solicit a fee, and trick people into thinking they have to pay it to receive their benefit. They will also attempt to gain access to personal information by calling, emailing, texting and even using social media platforms."

To guard against coronavirus scams, Hoosiers are asked to follow these five tips provided by the FTC: 

  • Ignore offers for vaccinations and home test kits. Scammers are selling products to treat or prevent COVID-19 without proof that they work;
  • Hang up on robocalls. Scammers use these illegal sales calls to get your money and personal information;
  • Watch out for phishing email and text messages. Don’t click on links in emails or texts you didn’t expect;
  • Research before you donate. Don't let anyone rush you into making a donation. Get tips on donating wisely at; and
  • Be informed. Visit for the latest information on scams.

Hoosiers who believe they are a victim of a scam should contact law enforcement immediately. Report scams to the Indiana Attorney General’s office by visiting and the FTC by visiting


State Rep. Martin Carbaugh (R-Fort Wayne) represents House

District 81, which includes a portion of Allen County.

Click here to download a high-resolution photo.


State Rep. Dave Heine (R-Fort Wayne) represents House

District 85, which includes a portion of Allen County.

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State Rep. Bob Morris (R-Fort Wayne) represents House

District 84, which includes a portion of Allen County.

Click here to download a high-resolution photo.